askpharma

“I’m a retired software engineer, a long-term supporter of Doctors Without Borders, dating back to the 1990s. I have worked in biomedical research and am very concerned about how tremendous advances in disease prevention and treatment are currently not available to people in developing countries because corporations charge too much for key medicines and vaccines. The pneumonia vaccine could save millions of lives if made available to developing countries and humanitarian organizations.”

Thank you, Pete, and the 80+ New Yorkers who participated in our live stunt to deliver over 400,000 petition signatures to Pfizer, asking they lower the price of the pneumonia vaccine to $5 a child. #AskPharma 

View the stunt here: https://youtu.be/W_0hiui77-M

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Demand fair vaccine prices from Pfizer & GSK. Sign our petition at: http://afairshot.org

MSF is running vaccination campaigns to protect almost 188,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia’s Gambella region against pneumonia and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

A key tool in fighting child mortality in emergencies is the pneumonia vaccine, but it’s priced out of the reach of many humanitarian organizations and developing countries.  Help us #AskPharma to lower the price of the pneumonia vaccine so all children get a fair shot. http://bit.ly/1I4Vt61

We took our mission straight to Pfizer’s shareholder meeting today in a bid to #AskPharma some tough questions about vaccine pricing.

Pneumonia kills one million children each year, yet the vaccine price is kept secret.

Please share and like this post to take action. #AskPharma   - ask Pfizer and GSK to disclose the price of the pneumonia vaccine in all countries. http://afairshot.org/

afairshot.org
#AskPharma to give all kids A Fair Shot against pneumonia.
Doctors Without Borders needs you to #AskPharma to lower the price of the pneumonia vaccine to $5/child for all developing countries and humanitarian organizations.

$17 Million: Amount Pfizer makes PER DAY on its pneumonia vaccine. It’s World Pneumonia Day, and we paid a little visit to Pfizer Headquarters…with suitcases full of fake cash. 

Despite the essential protection the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine provides, three out of four children globally still don’t get all the shots of the vaccine they need to save their lives. The price of the vaccine is too high, and many governments in developing countries simply can’t afford to buy it for their children. Join us in asking Pfizer and GSK to put children’s lives over more blockbuster revenue, by lowering the price to $5 a child: afairshot.org 

As doctors who have seen too many children die of pneumonia, struggling to breathe, we are asking anyone who cares about children’s lives to join our public call on Pfizer and GSK to make sure all developing countries can afford to protect all their babies against this killer disease.
—  Dr. Greg Elder, Director of MSF Operations in Paris. Sign the petition at  afairshot.org 
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Have you seen it? Catch our vaccine bus ad outside the #Pfizer building in NYC. Take a pic of yourself with it using the hashtag #AskPharma- Let’s call on Pfizer and GSK to lower the price of pneumonia vaccines to $5.00 per child for all developing countries. 

Nearly 1 million children worldwide die each year due to pneumonia. Pfizer & GSK have made a total of $26 billion in sales off the pneumonia vaccine. It now costs 68x more to fully immunize a child now than it did in 2001. It’s time to give all kids A Fair Shot.  www.afairshot.org 

Dr. Ilaria Moneta, Italian pediatrician currently on a MSF mission in the Central African Republic

“One of the patients who touched me the most is an 18 months old boy who was suffering from pneumonia and severe malnutrition.

He was very weak when he was admitted, but improved significantly during his 10 days stay with us. You know, it’s not good for small children to stay that long in a hospital. But this little boy recovered remarkably, and towards the end of his stay he was so much better, always giving me a big smile when I would come, grabbing my hand, wanting to engage.

But yesterday he came back for his follow up appointment, and he worried me. He lost a lot of weight in a week – that’s not good for a such a young child. I could see right away that he was not well: he didn’t recognize me anymore, he was sad, he was like another person. I wanted to hospitalize him again to keep an eye on him, but we couldn’t. They live in town, so at least they don’t have to travel far to come to us. They didn’t come back today, so he must be doing OK. I hope so.

The reality of pneumonia can be very scary and dangerous. Each year, it takes the lives of nearly one million kids. There’s a vaccine to prevent it, but it’s too expensive for many countries to afford. That’s why we need #Pfizer and #GSK to drop the price to $5/child for all developing countries and humanitarian organizations. #AskPharma http://afairshot.org

JonJon, 33 years old from the US

I will never forget the MONTH I had pneumonia. It started on a cold Tuesday night in early December 2010. At the time I thought I was coming down with a cold, and by Thursday I was fully convinced I caught a bad flu. Little did I know by that Saturday morning I would be admitted into my local hospitals ER and diagnosed with streptococcus pneumonia. 

I had a high fever, my vision was blurred, and time seemed to slow down with every breath I took as I struggled to fill my lungs with air. I literally felt like I was drowning, and I felt helpless. As the doctor put me under to calm me down, I remember still gasping for air to let my mom that I loved her and my family. I truly believed I was going to die.

I woke up days later from a medically induced coma, intubated to a machine that was breathing for me. I found out that my lungs had filled up so much with infection that only 1/3 of my right lung was capable in taking oxygen. For the next two weeks it was a battle between pneumonia and me.  

I was taken off the machine and released home just before New Years Eve. Since I was bedridden, and deprived of solid food and water for a few weeks, I was left frail, and I could barely walk or stand on my own. My lung capacity was next to none and after I spoke a sentence I was out of breath as though I had been jogging for miles. Slowly but surely I made a full recovery. 

I was thankful and blessed I made it through that experience, and I always say I would never wish pneumonia on anyone.

The reality of pneumonia can be very scary and dangerous. Each year, it takes the lives of nearly one million kids. There’s a vaccine to prevent it, but it’s too expensive for many countries to afford. That’s why we need #Pfizer and #GSK to drop the price to $5/child for all developing countries and humanitarian organizations. #AskPharma http://afairshot.org

Garry 35 years old from the UK

On those two night flights home, Bangladesh to Turkey, and onwards to London, something wasn’t quite right.

Turning the key into my door later that day, I realized why. I moaned to my wife about how offices in warm countries always choose the parched iciness of full-blast air-conditioning: I always catch a cold there, and today I’d brought one home. It’s a special, nasty kind of cold too. It never starts with a gentle runny nose, but with a presence somewhere deep inside your chest.

I did what I usually do. I ignored it. This one felt like a slow-burner, though. For want of a better description, my lungs felt itchy, as if the virus wasn’t sure it wanted to grow and come out. I wasn’t coughing, though. I was barely sick.

Some six days later, I sat down at my desk to write an email.

I’ll never forget the next second, because there was no other feeling like it. It was like getting smacked in the temple with an ice pack, the ice then seeping into my skin and coursing through my blood. I shivered uncontrollably. I could barely steady myself up the stairs. “I’ll work in bed,” I thought, but could barely focus my eyes on the screen. So I closed them, and an hour of delirium ensued: something to do with Bangladesh, mixed with the thriller series I’d watched the night before.

When I came to, my body craved ice water. The thought of going back down the stairs; moving my trash can so I could get to my freezer; opening the freezer; then the drawer; then cracking open the ice tray; was almost unbearable. After several minutes, including a break halfway down the stairs, I got there.

Two days later, I messaged a doctor friend to say: “Three days with fever, no need to see my doctor yet right?” And he said, “Nope. Wait a bit longer.”

The next day was similar - until the excruciating, sharp stabbing sensation in my right side. Every cough turned into a gasp of pain.

I called an Uber, cancelled everything else, and made my way to the hospital. The driver dropped me off and wished me a nice day.

The next bit unfolded like a dream. I was given some drips. The wheelchair man pushed me along to the X-ray department. “You have pneumonia, a nasty one,” a doctor said. A few hours and four infusions later, I was given a box of antibiotics and sent on my way. The choreography was truly impressive. I’m glad I was taking the drugs before the next episode: when I started coughing blood. At least I was taking something, and over a few days felt much better.

I joked with my doctor friend, the one I messaged, that he’d been careless telling me not to see my doctor. His reaction was along the lines of, “Well you’re still alive, aren’t you?” But, as an afterthought, he asked to look at my x-ray himself, in case he could recommend a follow-up check. A few days later with no news, I gave him a call.

“Did you get hold of the X-ray?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah,” he said. “You’re fine. You have very sexy lungs.”

The reality of pneumonia can be very scary and dangerous. Each year, it takes the lives of nearly one million kids. There’s a vaccine to prevent it, but it’s too expensive for many countries to afford. That’s why we need #Pfizer and #GSK to drop the price to $5/child for all developing countries and humanitarian organizations. #AskPharma http://afairshot.org

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There’s an African immunization conference going on right now…we want to make sure the serious issue of skyrocketing prices of new vaccines is not left off the agenda.

High vaccine prices are a key barrier to immunization efforts in Africa, and other developing countries. Sign our petition to #AskPharma to lower the price of the pneumonia vaccine: http://www.afairshot.org/#petition-en